This is the perfect summer pasta dish. Fresh, tasty and full of seasonal produce.
It is fancy enough to serve to guests and quick enough to cook as a mid week supper.
I first ate a similar courgette and ricotta pasta dish almost over a year ago when I visited Puglia, sitting on a wonky table down an unassuming side street in Ostuni. I ordered this half-heartedly, then tucked in to it so voraciously, Will immediately wanted a taste!
I took a picture and vowed to try and recreate it as soon as I got home. Then of course promptly forgot…that is until a recent visit to Carluccio’s at intu Derby and I was struck with inspiration.
During a recent visit I had a gloriously slow breakfast at Carluccio’s, ordering far too much to eat as usual and flicking through the many cook books available in the shop to buy (and browse).
On a side note, cook books are one of my guilty pleasures. I rarely follow a recipe from a book, but I LOVE looking through them getting inspiration and looking at the pictures.
All of a sudden I remembered this dish and whilst there wasn’t a courgette and ricotta pasta recipe in the books, I knew I could try to create one myself. I set off in a bit of a hurry to buy all the items I would need. I knew I would be able to pick up some pretty items for m home at the centre, but I hadn’t realised it would also be the perfect place to get everything I needed to make an amazing meal – and make it look pretty too!
The Carluccio’s at intu Derby has a fabulous array of goods for sale that you can take home, including a dessert table (oh the meringues!) and a deli (oh the olives and mozzarella!) as well as dry goods such as pasta, coffee, oils…everything you would expect in an Italian pantry in fact.
I *may* have gone a bit wild with my selections, but the key things for this recipe were spaghetti / linguine, ricotta and sun blushed tomatoes.
Spaghetti can be eaten most successfully if you
inhale it like a vacuum cleaner
– Sophia Loren
I couldn’t help myself and whilst in the centre picked up these gorgeous pasta dishes from Next Home – the bigger the better for pasta as far as I am concerned, and some essential kitchen tools from Lakeland; more on that below.
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Recipe: courgette and ricotta pasta
Your favourite pasta – I always pick spaghetti or linguine
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
A good chunk of parmesan, grated
Tub of ricotta
Large handful of fresh basil
Sun blushed tomatoes (or, if easier to get hold of, cherry tomatoes halved)
The zest of 1 lemon
A drizzle of olive oil
Put on a pan of salted water to boil, and when bubbling add in your pasta.
Cut your courgettes in to thin strips. I used this julienne vegetable peeler, and I don’t want to get all geeky but its the best kitchen tool ever! It makes chopping veg SO quick, takes up almost no room and is only £3.99. Win win.
Gently sauté the courgette in a frying pan with a drizzle of oil. When softened add in your crushed garlic and stir frequently so it doesn’t brown.
Once your pasta is ready add it in to the pan with the courgettes, allowing some of the pasta water in too. Grate in the parmesan, add the tomatoes and sprinkle over your lemon zest. Mix together.
Dot in the ricotta and tear in the basil and mix gently – you don’t want the ricotta to be completely dissolved in. Serve in pretty bowls with a sprig of basil – the most delicious, easy and fresh courgette and ricotta pasta recipe you’ll find.*
What’s your favourite holiday-memory recipe?
This post was created in collaboration with intu Derby but as always, I only partner with brands I love.